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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 17, 2010 7:30am-9:00am EDT

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battlefield. and also moreover patients don't react the same or to medical procedures in the same fashion. can you describe the institutional impact if live tissue training was stopped? >> senator, there are many compelling examples of how live tissue training has directly contributed to the preservation of human life on the battlefield and i have not been exposed to any simulation, any technology that adequately substitutes for live tissue training. >> i'm also pleased that the u.s. operations command and the marine corps special operations command have created a close relationship with the university of north carolina and the university of north carolina recently signed a memorandum of agreement with both special operations commands.
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this mou includes but is not limited to cultural awareness and linguistic training, business practices, degree completion opportunities and a senior service college fellow program. my question is, admiral olson, can you provide your view on the educational needs of our special forces and how public and private universities can assist? and are you interested in creating a fellowship in counterterrorism and public policy for members of the u.s. special operations community? >> in what you've highlighted it's really a good example of how the military and the academic areas are working together. the support -- the kind of relationship that we've developed enables us to in areas where we simply don't have the capacity within the military forces to perform that kind of training, that kind of education. certainly we would support an effort to create similar kinds of fellowships for specialized kind of education as you described.
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>> you know, in that area around fort bragg area, the unc system has 16 public universities with fayetteville state, nc state, chapel hill all within a very close and then we have some excellent private universities, too, such as duke university and wake forest that does excellent work, too. so i think this mou will go a long way to helping from an educational needs especially for our men and women in the special operations in these special forces. i also wanted to talk about the iranian influence in iraq. despite the fact that the iraqis are increasingly expressing their discontent with iranian influence in iraq, we need to keep in mind that iraq has -- that iran has people in iraq that it uses to drive a wedge between the sunnis and the shiites in iraq. and these actions ignite the
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ethnosectarian tensions. these iranian actions undermine iraqi security in the delicate political situation. how do you foresee dod using its future relationship with the iraqi security forces to steer iraq's defense strategy and acquisition of weapon systems in order to avoid iranian meddling that could jeopardize iraq's stability. >> i don't think we'll have to steer at all. iraq's leaders and its security force leaders share a concern about neighbors who arm, train, fund, equipped and direct proxy elements on their soil. and they have continued to carry out operations against these illegal elements. and i'm confident that they will continue to do that in the future even as we draw down. they conduct a number of unilateral operations against
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these elements as well. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hagan. senator wicker? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general petraeus, chairman levin began early on asking about iran. he mentioned the u.n. resolution, asked about being more explicit about the possibility of a blockade or quarantine and you said that the president was explicit about not take the military option off the table. and you recently talked about combining engagement with iranian leaders backed up by the threat of further sanctions. and i think this is a quote of yours. that puts us in a solid
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foundation now to go on what is termed the pressure track. that's the course on which we're embarked now. and you alluded to that but could you explain a little more about what the pressure track will involve. and if you could tell us -- has anything the international community done so far yielded positive results? do we have any success stories at all with regard to all of these sanctions and options and all of the talk that we've done about iran? and then after that i want to ask you about the dissonance in tehran. but if you would answer the first part of it, i would appreciate it. >> senator, over the course of the last year, the effort has focused on the diplomatic track. all the countries of the world
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have given iran ample opportunity to discuss the issues that are out there and to try to resolve them. and, of course, that has not happened. >> totally unsuccessful? >> and that has led to what the president and others, secretary of state, have termed the pressure track. and that is the effort now with the u.n. security council and other countries and other organizations as well, the e.u. is involved in this. countries do it as single actors and so forth in a variety of different ways everything from, you know, in the u.s. side, treasury designations and a host of financial and trade restrictions and so forth. and that is now about to ramp up needless to say. that's what the increased pressure will result from. with respect to what this has
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done in the past, indeed, some of these actions have resulted in the interdiction of money, weapons, technology and so forth. it has limited even the travel of some of the leaders of the key security elements and so forth. so there have been -- now has it dissuaded them from the path that some analysts believe they're on in terms of developing the components of a nuclear weapons? you know, again there may have been some initiatives that have made that more difficult. a good bit more difficult perhaps. but that again i think the assessment of all is that that continues to march on. >> have we squandered pressure time? >> i don't think so. in fact, i think this has given us a foundation, a very firm foundation from which to work as we transition to it.
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no one has said iran has never had any opportunity made possible to them including, you know, the reaching out of the open-hand. and they have not grasp that. in fact, the response has been the opposite. again, no one has said the united states and the other countries of the world have not given that every opportunity. and that, therefore, i think translates into the greater possibility that the pressure track could come up with meaningful actions. >> the actions on the pressure track will have to be agreed to by the united states and a numberf our allies -- >> it depends which actions are you talking about. if you're talking u.n. security resolutions it would have to be nine total members. so -- and again you know, in
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case of the firm 5 and the total 9 in the affirmative but i would be happy to defer on the state department on that. >> how public have we been about what form these actions might take? >> again, i'd defer to the state department on that. again, i think an awful lot of this is understandably i think going on behind closed doors. that's how it's generally best pursued. >> okay, you may want to defer to the state department on this next question. >> i'll be happy. >> but i do want to ask it. it's been said in this committee, it's been said on the floor that we should be showing or moral support for the reformers in iran, for the people who are willing to take the street and stand up and risk their lives and safety. if you were a reformer in tehran, what would you be hoping the united states would do?
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and do we need to send some signals as to the limits of what can be expected of us? as we try to give some sort of moral support but we also try to be realistic about what we can do to help these people who are striving for freedom and democracy? >> well, as you suggested, senator, with respect, and that's for the state department and all the people who pull at the strands of this. they're talking about one element of this and without the other could be misleading. >> all right. well, thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator mccaskill? >> thank you, mr. chairman. following up on some of the sanction stuff on iran, you know, the iran sanctions act was passed 14 years ago. and we've never enforced it. and recently there has been some attention given to this and one
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example of many examples is a south korean engineering firm that entered into a contract with iran to upgrade oil fields in i were. in 2007, there was a $700 million contract. in 2009, u.s. army gave the same company a contract for $100 million to build housing. for our army in south korea and then just a few months after that they entered into another contract with iran. you know, i understand that we have not enforced this law because our european allies squawked about it when it was first passed. and then when we tried to enforce it with japan, a company in japan, they squawked well, you didn't enforce it against the european countries. brazil, we just gave a huge import/export loan too to get some oil out of there instead of the middle east and what do they do they have mahmoud ahmadinejad
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come to town and kiss and hug. i'm a little worried of our talk of sanctions has been too much of talk. and that we haven't even followed up within our military contracts to make sure we're not contracting with people who are doing business with iran especially in the oil and gas and the petroleum sector. do you have any take on that, general petraeus, in whether or not this is something that is being driven through state as opposed to whether or not the military has taken a look at their contractors and whether or not we're doing business with the wrong people? >> i honestly don't. i mean, i'm not in the contracting business. i don't know what it takes to get someone on a blacklist if you will where they can't compete for a contract and what that process is and why, for example, a particular country that has done something and iran is not on that list. it's not my area of expertise and i apologize. >> i'll continue to follow up on it. but i think it's maybe one of the reasons iran is not taking
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us as seriously as they should. because we talk about the carrot and the stick and using the stick and frankly i don't think we've used the stick very effectively in a law that's been on our books for 14 years. let me talk also a bit about the size of the military. and you and i had a chance to talk when i got back from afghanistan but i want to put this on the record, mr. chairman, because i think it's important that this be talked about. the size of the army we're building. and afghanistan's ability to sustain that military. you know, if you're over there, the afghanis say they want 400,000. i think we're at the number 300,000 and there has been no indication that we're going to build an army above 300,000. but even if we keep it at 300,000, general caldwell briefed me that's going to be somewhere around $5.5 billion to sustain that level of military in afghanistan.
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and their gdp depending on which number you look at -- their total gdp of the entire country is somewhere between $10 and $12 billion. i'd like to put on the record your response to that problem and whether or not we have, in fact, signed up for the american people to do the heavy lifting in terms of sustaining the afghan military for decades to come? >> well, i'm not aware of anyone signing up to do that for decades to come. but clearly we are helping afghanistan build a military force to which we can transition tasks so that our forces can go home. and as you know, frankly, it's a lot more expensive to maintain our forces in afghanistan than it is to maintain even a comparable number of afghan forces that might be able in our forces in that country. in a business case actually i
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think there's some logic to continuing to support over time, although obviously no commitments have been made in that regard, but continuing to support over time a substantial afghan national security force and indeed one that they will not be able to pay all the expenses for over that time. >> i did notice much more of an international presence there than i did in iraq and i guess we can continue to hope that our friends in nato will step up although so far while they're there and they're making a bigger commitment in terms of monetary support, there has been -- we are still shouldering the vast majority of that. isn't that correct? >> it is. you should note, of course, that there are some very important nonnato nations as well.cfx i mean, japan i would single out is providing quite substantial resources also. >> the radical terrorist group
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in pakistan, i know this is more of a priority for the pacific command than your command, but realizing that they are now operating -- i think the latest -- one of the very destructive bombs that went off recently in kabul was, in fact -- it's all indications it was let. as we've made great progress against the taliban and afghanistan and the taliban and pakistan and the al-qaeda that we have successfully targeted and gone after, i'm worrying that this organization is growing in strength. and i know it's tricky because of the historical connection between let and the pakistani military and their government because of the kashmir area, but i do want to sound an alarm that i'm concerned whether it's on
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our priority list and put enough pakistan i think well in terms of their military going after terrorism in their country now. i wonder if we're pushing hard enough on that front? >> well, it certainly has been a source of dialog. of course, the real issue in this regard was, of course, the bombing of mumbai which by all accounts was carried out by l.e.t. and i think our entire government -- different elements of our government has had quite a bit of interaction with the government of pakistan over this. and obviously india has expressed its concerns as well. there's no question but that there are elements in pakistan that have not yet been the focus of the pakistani counterinsurgency efforts. but there's also no disputing the fact that the pakistani army and frontier corps have got a lot of short sticks and a lot of
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hornets nests right now in the northwest frontier province in the fatah and they are continuing those campaigns. they are not just holding what they've got they do continue their efforts. and i know what the plan is. and again, it is impressive. and they've taken very tough losses in the course of this as has their civilian population. >> i know i'm out of time. let me briefly say there's some good news. it's premature to say how effective it was going to be compared to when i went to iraq on contract oversight, the systems are in place in afghanistan are much better. and i want to compliment you and general mcchrystal and everyone for realizing that we had the wild west of contracting in iraq in terms of logistical support and a lot of other contracting issues. i think we have the structures in place now. now, it remains to be seen whether those structures are going to provide the oversight that we need.
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but at least we've got the right people gathered in the right rooms. i have some significant questions about cerp big projects in continuity. but i'm out of time. so what i will do, mr. chairman, is i will make those questions for the record. i know 67% of the cerp money is going to projects over 500,000. >> actually, senator, i need to give you numbers on that because the average project for this past year -- or for this year so far in fiscal year '10 is somewhere around $20,000 per project in iraq and 40,000 in the other countries or is it vice versa? anyway, the average is somewhere around 30,000 this year. >> so we're pulling back down? >> oh, we have pulled way down. >> that's great. >> i mentioned in that my opening statement. i retain approval authority for the $1 this will projects and above. >> and i noticed you said only one. >> quite some time.
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>> 'cause, you know, some of the folks i talked to over there talked about the continuity and the problem as units would rotate out, the big cerp projects that started before, they didn't want to finish those because they weren't going to get, quote-unquote, credit for them. they wanted to start some they could finish on their watch and stuff was sitting on the shelf and so forth. >> i think we have good oversight. a rational approach. we're trying to find that right balance between not too much bureaucracy but enough and not such high level that they're doing a.i.d.'s work instead of a.i.d. and i'll pass on your comments to those who are in the contracting business. we do try to be a learning organization and we've learned a great deal of contracting over the course of the last decade or so. >> and over the course of the last three years. >> that too. that too. >> thank you, general petraeus, for that continuing effort in oversight. it's very important to this committee. i want to especially thank senator mccaskill for her special efforts in this regard.
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they're very, very important to the citizenry of our country. senator brown? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to first thank you for your warm welcome and i appreciate your recognition of my service. and just to correct the record a little bit, generals and admiral, i started out as an enlisted man and was qualified as an infantry officer at ft. benning and now i'm a quarter master and i have some knowledge that i don't think an average torn knows being a jag. one of the things senator gramm was commenting on because when i hear from the guardsmen serving throughout massachusetts they are confused how they treat folks how they're captured. i also want to kind of go along the same vein, what rights are they given and do we send them to afghanistan?
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do we keep them where they're captured? do we bring them to u.s. soil? do we get them to gitmo? i know i'm new here, but being in the military, these are the questions that my troops are passing on to me when i'm representing them. and if there's any insight you can give as to the policy as to where we're heading with that or if it's an off-line conversation, i'm all ears because i think it's creating indecision with our soldiers as to what to the with the folks when they're captured. >> senator, let me talk about that because with respect to i don't think there's indecision in iraq or afghanistan. and i'm not aware of us detaining people anywhere else. in quite some time. when someone is detained in iraq or afghanistan, there are quite clear procedures for what they've done. by the way, we don't detain virtually any at all in any
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significant number in iraq at this point. the operations are generally led by iraqi security forces and they are now warrant-based there. we have transitioned to -- we believe in the rule of law and we're helping the iraqis. they have taken the lead in terms of making arrests based on warrants except in the case where obviously someone has threatened our soldiers directly or you have a case of self-defense or an immediate threat response. in afghanistan as i explained to senator graham we have clear rules. they have recently been implemented for all of our forces that have transitioned to nato. and we are able to hold them for 14 days if necessary. and indeed send them to bagram if they hit a certain category after that. and we're in bagram to
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transition that facility and the tasks of running it to our afghan partners so that over time indeed that transition can take place as well. but we've worked very hard because of the idea that you -- you have to create conditions in which your soldiers can live our values. and one of those values has to be if someone puts his hands in the air you take his -- you detain him instead of shoot him. but if you think he's going to be back on the street within 96 hours or something like that because of a catch and release policy, then it becomes much more difficult obviously. we take that very successfully. we work this very hard and as senator graham highlighted, this policy has gone into place. >> there's more in afghanistan than hassling i know iraq -- you know, that's been settled somewhat by afghanistan. i know there was a transition period and there have been some concerns. i'll speak to senator graham about some additional questions that he and i were discussing and maybe we can off-line touch base.
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but i am chairing a hearing on afghan police training and i'm concerned and wondering if the mission that lagged has it's been divided by the states and the defense departments? >> well, i think candidly that there's a reason that we have over time transitioned tasks from traditional executive branch elements to the military. and that is because we have more capacity and capability. i mean, i stood up the multinational security transition command iraq and over time we took on more and more responsibility because the capacity of our partners in some of these areas and i & l there's a bunch of heroes in state department i & l but they are armies of one in many cases. now, we are going to transition the police task back to state department in iraq and we believe that process can work
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but with respect to afghanistan, we have taken more of that. >> great. thank you, general. thank you, admiral. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator brown. we thank you both. we will have a hearing on iran. at that time we will have with whoever our witnesses will be and they're not yet determined, we will then have an executive session at that time taking up some of the questions that you left for executive session. it's possible that some of our questions for the record you have may be of -- relate to iran that perhaps you could answer even though you won't be there in a classified way for that executive session. general petraeus, i know you've spent a lot of time on the don't
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ask don't tell issue thinking about it. and we would welcome your statement. we simply ask people for a statement for the record but in this case i think i'll just simply say we would welcome that statement for the record leaving it up to you as to whether you would prefer to do it that way which would be immediately a public or whether you prefer to give your thoughts in a different form and a different time. we didn't give you that opportunity because of your schedule to do that. so that's something we would just leave up to your good judgment. but we would very much welcome that statement and if so, we would know then, of course, it would be made public at that time. again, admiral, thank you so much for your service. and all of us feel very deeply about the men and women that you command and that you work with. and we thank them through you and we will stand adjourned.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> which two presidents died on the fourth of july in the same year? john adams and thomas jefferson. find these and other presidential facts in c-span's newly updated book "who's buried in grant's tomb? " >> it's a guidebook, a travel log but it's a mini history work of biography of each of these presidents and let's face it you can tell a lot about people at the end of their lives. >> the story of their final moments and insight business their lives. "who's buried in grant's tomb" is now available at your favorite bookseller or get a
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discount at the publisher's website at publicaffairsbooks.com. >> we take you live to london for prime minister's questions. every wednesday while parliament is in session, prime minister gordon brown takes questions from members of the house of commons. prior to question time the house of commons is wrapping up previous business. ..... unemployment is 50% lower
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than it was in 1992. does the minister agree with me? it was a six hundred thirty million -- new policy jobs in the future and that would be under threat if the conservatives came to office. >> very well. with regard to the defense investment that has taken place, it is not happening in st. offense but many places. including north wales as well. what reinforces the fact that employment is 100,000 pounds greater than it was under the conservatives and finding jobs is our priority. >> questions for the prime minister. >> i know the house will want to
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join me in paying tribute toçe three members of our armed forces in first battalion anglican redmond attached to the battle regiment cavalry group who lost their lives in afghanistan this week. their bravery and the sacrifices they made for the future of the british people will not be forgotten. our thoughts today are with the families and loved ones as they receive this sad news. mr. speaker i am sure the house will want to pay respects to a tenacious campaigner and passionate advocate for the people of tside and his expertise and wise counsel will be missed. >> i am sure the whole house will wish to support the prime minister in his condolences for the loss -- tragic loss of lives of british servicemen who died doing their duty and his
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comments about the death of k a kumar a who was a genuinely decent colleagues. the prime minister told the house the defense expenditure rose in real terms every year. the library has produced figures that clearly show that assertion is incorrect. this is the first opportunity the prime minister has had in the house to set the record straight. we now do so and also right to ensure their record is correct. >> i am already writing about this issue. defense spending rose from $21 billion to this year are around $40 billion from 1997 to this date. it goes every year in cash terms. for a number of reasons the real terms rise in the defense budget
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is 12% over the last 13 years. because of afghanistan and our expenditure in iraq we spend $17 billion more than the defense budget but because of operational fluctuations in the way the money is spent expenditure has risen in cash terms 12% higher but i do accept that defense expenditure did not rise in real terms. >> in my constituency they are doing an exhibition old job. the one teacher has told me to restrict access in any way at all. we will not do çthat. >> we have opened 3,500 in this country, 8 children's center
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that is open in every community available to all families and all children. it is a major transformation of children's services. it will be a sad day if an old party consensus cannot be reached but what we do is an essential element of early learning and development of potential. the conservative policy to cut back on centers -- [talking over each other] i think they protest too much. the leader of the opposition said they would be better targeted on the deprived communities of this country and not the 100% beneath them. >> can i joined them in paying tribute to the soldier who died on monday after serving his
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country in afghanistan and the two other soldiers from the same regiment who were killed yesterday. everyone knows the brilliant work the staff do and everyone should pay tribute to them and the sacrifice of these soldiers who'd never be forgotten. and paid tribute to kumr who was respected for campaigning for the causes in which he believe. the house has lost a great representative and our thoughts should be with his friends and family at this time. thank the prime minister for his answer to my hon. friend bambi. in three years i don't think i ever heard him make a correction or a retraction and perhaps the fact is if you look at defense spending figures or budget figures there have been years where there have been real terms
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cuts. on a day when he had to admit he can't get his own figures right we shouldn't listen. on a day when he had to admit he can't get his own figures right we shouldn't listen to him talking about conservative -- let me turn to what threatens travel for thousands of people this weekend. it threatens the very existence of british airways. when the prime minister was asked about it he said it is the wrong time. can he tell us when is the right time for a strike that threatens the future of the best companies. >> mr. speaker, every person in this house would like to see a resolution to this. my thoughts are with the customers of british airways. my thoughts also are with those who depend on the success of
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british airways and our airlines. that is exactly why at this particular point in time i would like the science to get together to discuss these issues. the conservative party and others wish to laugh about this but the important thing -- the important thing is the advice i gave to the management and unions to take a deep breath and keep calm and keep talking about this issue and i don't think an industrial relations dispute should be brought to the house of commons in this way. we are at a very early stage. but members must not get excited. >> it is our desire to work with the conservative party and other parties so we can reach a resolution of this issue.
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>> one word for that answer, week. it is not advice that is required but leadership. this weekend, management and non unionized workers will be doing everything they can to keep british airways going. will he join me in urging members to join them by crossing the picket lines and going to work and getting things moving. >> mr. speaker, this is exactly what i mean about trying to make an industrial issue a partisan issue in politics. what we need to do, what we need to do is get the unions and management to talk to each other. i should report to the house that i have talked to both sides and i believe the agreement that was reached last thursday is one in which they can build for an agreement this week and the leader of the opposition instead of calling for action that would
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have to after a strike through phase would help us by calling for resolution in the first place. >> back to 1970. hand wringing from a weak prime minister while companies go down and let me ask again, this weekend will he join me in urging unionized workers to cross the picket line and get this going? >> a long way from a few months ago. a few months ago daily telegraph, mr. cameron launched a secret mission to win britain's straight union. the trade unions have been asked to draw opposition policy so daily telegraph can disclose. party officials met with union officials more than 60 times
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since the spring. one day the party union the next day they are against unions. the only consistency is in the total opportunism. [yelling] >> government backed ventures are simmering over and they need to calm down. keep cool heads. >> they are paid to shout. that is their right. in three years of asking questions that has to be one of the most pathetic answers i ever had. it is one thing to talk to the union and another to give in to them like he has. does he back brave workers who want to cross the picket line and keep the business going?
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>> the chairman of the conservative party in that the trade union and we have been having lots of meetings over the last few months. the old antagonisms have long gone. the conservative party want to attack the unions and don't want a resolution of this dispute but they want to talk to the unions. there is complete opportunism. they're trying to find a resolution to this dispute. they're working with the union and management to do so. anything else is likely to inflame the situation. instead of becoming a partisan politician in this the leader of the opposition, leader of the opposition is showing opportunism at every moment to become a statesman. >> it is a simple question of
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backbone and judgment and character. do you back people who want to go to work? yes or no? >> he has never said once that he backed a resolution to this dispute. he never told management and unions to get together to resolve this issue. i made my views cleared about this but what also know is what passengers are wanting to know and what the country is wanting to know, whether we can resolve this dispute. he has said nothing positive about resolving this dispute. it is the same old story. >> absolutely no backbone. [shouting] >> his party is a subsidiary of the united union. they choose of the policies and collect the leader. they have special access to
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downing street. isn't it true that when the crunch comes he can acting union interests and not national interests? >> not one time -- order! borders! order! ordered! members have made their views clear. let's have a bit of quiet and hear the response from the prime minister. >> i ask him to think about the words he has used. they have not calculated to end the dispute. they're calculated to support the dispute. we have flexible labor market showing we have taken action that is necessary to get people back to work, what he has shown
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is there is no positive policy, no substance, no program. no wonder he talks without notes. he has nothing to say. >> my friends agree with me that it is time to give women in the developing world a real present this year by further -- the millennium development summit in september. will he have considerable acumen to encourage the recognition of financial value and investing in women's health. >> 500,000 mothers die each year as a result of avoidable deaths because of things we can
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actually do. i hope the conservatives will be prepared to listen to a concern expressed across the world about the levels of maternal mortality. 500,000 mothers avoid -- by each year. these are avoidable deaths. it is important we support whatever action can be taken and we are doing more than most to reduce this appalling level of suffering that can be avoided. >> my sympathy and condolences to family and friends of a soldier from the first battalion and royal anglican regiment who died on monday after sustaining terrible injuries in afghanistan and the two soldiers from the same regiment who were killed in afghanistan having served just yesterday and i would like to add my own tribute to dr. kumar. he was a defender of the steel industry. he spoke on the environment
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before it was fashionable and always spoke for fairness. charlie wi learn and ashcroft are the same. [shouting] >> order! the house must come to order. and here mr. nick clay. >> i am talking about cleaning up policy right now. we need a deal on policy funding. why should anyone believe a word they say about party funding now?
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>> we in the liberal party agreed changes in political party funding more than a year ago it was the conservative party that rejected the deal. >> they are rewriting history. maybe they could listen to this and learn something. they both lost amendments we took to the table. just last year they capped the donation. it is just like the expense, lots of talk and no desire to change anything at all. >> as a result of the legislation we agreed on we made funding more transparent and it was a requirement for people to declare in the house of commons things that were never registered before. lord ashcroft lives offshore and
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is funding the tories without paying taxes in britain. >> is the prime minister listening to the growing number of bytes calling for investment in next week's budget until he agrees the budget should serve not the interest of the speculator is in london the british people as a whole. >> mr. speaker, the budget will be about building a stronger e. economy and taking on the decisions that have taken us through the recession which in every case, were rejected by the conservative party. >> taxpayers own has seven hundred billion pounds less today in loans than a year ago.
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where has it done? >> we have tried to have a range of lenders and get other banks into the business of lending. 300,000 small businesses have been given held by the government amounting to five billion pounds. the conservative party opposed it. we made it possible. there are more small businesses than there were a year ago. >> ferries have attacked and cause us to close the port of dover accusing them of abuse of power and threatening legal action through the courts. the seafarers and workers oppose
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privatization. to sell the port of dover would be the wrong thing. i don't expect you to say yes to that. no government would allow the sale of a port without the trust and support of the stakeholders. >> the most effective campaigner on behalf of the people of over. i can repeat today what i said recently. there will be no post privatization under labor. we did not pressure the port to privatize but we look for new options before the expansion. any proposals would need to take account of the views of the local community and stakeholders. >> economic success has historically been based on manufacturing industry. textiles, pharmaceuticals and aerospace. does the prime minister agree
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with me that manufacturing industry is one of the only sources of non inflationary sustainable economic growth and it needs like a hole in the head to be competitive to succeed in the future more regulation, more taxation particularly from europe? >> we have the sixth most manufacturing power in the world. in digital and a new industries including aerospace where we are doing extremely well and it is a vital part of his region. our capital allowances program does more for manufacturing than any corporate tax cut proposed by the conservative party which would remove funds from manufacturing and the regional development agencies and their commitment to manufacturing is vital to the future of this country and they should not be
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abolished. >> we ensure that public sector investment continues in constituencies like mine chopping private sector investments and corrected by a grants formally in power on the council. >> the growth of jobs in his constituency and the announcements made are important to the recovery of the british economy. 300,000 people leaving the register every month and we have seen numbers of unemployed and numbers of unemployed falling as a result of the action we have taken. these investments are absolutely crucial and we need the regional development agency working to ensure in his region the economic growth of the region comes about. >> look at the tragic case.
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will he confirm whether a downing street stafford took part in a conference call in 2008 which discussed the suitability -- >> i know nothing of what he says but i will look at it. >> lindbergh gilroy. >> the review of renewals meet our energy needs reducing our carbon footprint and generating jobs of the future. will we continue to invest? >> we are talking about low carbon jobs for the future and renewables at the center of it. we are investing in the jobs of the future. we are investing in an industry policy that will create the jobs of the future. under the conservatives unemployment would rise. >> let me thank you personally for the support you have given
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me in my human trafficking campaign. i thank the government ministers for backing and the leader of my party for his interest and support in this subject. now for the prime minister. does he realize modern-day slavery is actually here in london? with some overseas diplomats actually exploiting and abusing modern young people because they have restricted work permits which prevents them from seeking other employment and a they are then forced to leave this country, deported to the country they started so they can't go to other employment. this is a tragedy for the families and the embassy. would he please see that something is done?
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these people are crying out for the government to take action against modern-day slavery. >> can i thank him on his chairmanship and also say that i welcome his proposal to set up a human trafficking foundation and we thank him for the work he has been done as a member of the house. on this very tragic and difficult issue he had a meeting just before christmas and there is a belief that we can make progress on the issues he has raised and his decision in light of the advice he received and he will be in touch with the hon. member about this. >> can i say i lost a great friend in kumar.
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he was a politician and scientist who must never be forgotten. he was a friend of this house and all thoughts are with his family and his constituents. >> there is a campaign called pink jessica, a campaign to make awareness about pensioners who were preyed upon by scam mail. these people are losing their life savings. i challenge the prime minister to take up the case of pink jessica and ensure we all lost cam mail using the americscam m ideas.
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>> i agree. as a result of action we have taken we have uncovered billions of fraud and save five million for consumers. there have been 39 organizations of people successfully prosecuted. the office of fair trading is running an awareness campaign to alert the public to these scams and i urge people to visit the consumer direct web site where there are interactive online guide to dealing with these problems. we must empower consumers to recognize and avoid these scams and back this up with the strongest punishment. >> why should every pensioner in britton not feel equally betrayed by labour who has never restored the link between state pensions and earnings as the tories abolished it in the first place? >> we recognize the first problem was pension of poverty and that is why we brought in
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the pension credit and why a million pensioners have been taken out of poverty and why women who had no pensions of their own and sometimes not even a full pension themselves benefited in a way that has taken them out of poverty. mainly widows in their 80s. we also created on top of the pension and other measures we have taken the winter pension allowance which goes to every family over 60 and that gives additional help to pensioners over these times and the biggest users of the national health service are elderly people and we doubled the budget. >> under labor interest rates over the past year have been 0.5%. the previous, there were 15%. it was the 30fold increase on
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hard-working families paying mortgages and defense companies are looking at that. >> it is absolutely right. unemployment is half of what it was in the 1990s but interest rates meant mortgage repossessions are about 3 times what they are now under more small businesses than there were a year ago where small businesses faced 50% interest rates that went under in the 1990s. they say they are the party of change the deal economic policy they have is to go back to the 1929s. ..
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>> can i take this opportunity to thank the government for its recent series of new changes to the way in which we will be dealing with asbestos-related diseases? many of the victims will be grateful for the action that the government's taken. but can i ask the prime minister if he will overturn the lower lord's decision. about new medical evidence comes available to him as prime minister after the next election? >> if medical evidence would become available we would obviously re-assess the situation. i give him that assurance.
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at the same time, he should know that the justice secretary announced a range of measures which provide real benefits for people with asbestos-related disease. and these include a system of fixed payments for individuals, a creation of an employer's liability tracing office and in addition the government has confirmed its medical research in one of the most difficult areas where lives are so often sadly lost. and we will re-examine the situation. >> charlie weiland was copied into all the smeargate emails and apparent was part of the forces of hell of which the chancellor spoke. can the prime minister explain why he's back in number ten advising the prime minister or has the prime minister lost his moral compass suffered the same fate as the twelve and other elements beatened up in the bunker?
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>> he has a chance to answer ask him a question about his constituency and he has a chance to speak up for the people of the britain. the once again the conservatives are trying to turn a industrial relation dispute into a political football. they should be ashamed of themselves. >> order. i have a very short -- >> from london >> dick armey discusses his worked with the so-called tea party movement. he talks about the future of the republican party, fiscal party and alexander hamilton. from the national press club, this is an hour.
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>> for more information about the press club, please visit our website at www.press.org. so donate to our programs, please visit www.press.org/library. on behalf of our members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker and attendees which includes guests of our as well as working journalists. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. after the speech concludes, i will ask as many audience questions as time permits. i'd now like to introduce our head table guests. from your right cathy kiley of "usa today" ralph winnie and mark heller of the watertown daily times, rick dunham of the houston chronicle and former president of the national press club. matt kibbe and the president of
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the press club committee. skipping over our speaker for a moment, andrea stone senior washington correspondent for aol news and the speakers committee member who organized today's event. ambassador c. boydon gray co-chairman of the freedom works foundation and a guest of the speaker and diana morelo, jonathan solant of bloomberg news also a former president of the national press club and adam brandon vice president of communications for freedom works. [applause] >> our speaker today is someone many republicans would love to have over for tea. dick armey is no stranger to washington. after 18 years in congress during which time he became house majority leader, he now has a second career in the leader of the tea party movement through his group freedom works. when you saw citizens rally against taxes they considered
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too high last april or packed town hall meetings to protest healthcare or storm congressional offices tomorrow, you are watching dick armey's organizing acumen come to life. some polls show that the grassroots tea party movement has become more popular among conservatives than the republican party itself. even as the organization grows into its identity. dick armey, however, has always known his identity. the ph.d. economist taught at the university of north texas before turning to politics being elected to the house in 1984. he was a principal author of the 1994 contract with america that helped republicans and 40 years of democratic majorities in congress. the party he helped lead was not a party of no. armey and house republicans worked with president clinton to passed a balanced budget and welfare reform even impeachment ballots increased tensions. armey left congress in 2003 and
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was mostly out of the spotlight until last year. an outspoken contradict of president obama he was quoted recently as saying it was very reasonable to expect republicans to his so-called ten commandments a list of party principles some of dubbed a purity test. called the outsiders insiders in the "new york times" magazine, please welcome former house majority leader dick armey. [applause] >> speaking initially before leader armey's remarks will be c. boydon gray. [applause] >> well, after that introduction and all of you dick armey anyway so i don't want to take up any of his time. i just want to say how fond i am of him and how much i respect him.
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and just one little anecdote about my relationship back in the reagan-bush years. he was really, really helpful -- we plotted to try to get the line item veto back for the executive branch. think how different life would be if we had the line item veto and it involved possibly vetoing the congressional stamp authorization the congressional stamp for in return them giving the executive branch the veto back. it didn't work out but it was a great idea. and i think to use that anecdote to describe what dick does now and what this tea party movement is now is not that different than what reagan stood for and pushed for with dick's help back not so many years ago. it's said the tea party movement is a radical fringe. i think it's mainstream reaganism myself. and remember that what reagan said, he said the very heart and
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soul of conservatism is libertarianism. and what i meant by that limited government is the basic anchor of the conservative way of thinking. and he once said also reagan quote whether we believe -- the issue is whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the american revolution and confess that an intelligent intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives better than we can plan them ourselves. now, i'm not sure that doesn't capture pretty much about what dick armey is now working with. so i view this as a wonderful correction of the notion somehow that you can have a big government conservatism. i don't think you can. i think you have to have limited government conservatism so to let dick armey explain this much better than i can, let me turn it over to dick. [applause] >> well, thank you.
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thank you both for that nice introduction. thank you, boyden, i always feel so privileged to be with boyden gray. i often -- mostly boyden. i'm always worried if i'm smart enough to be with you. anyway, i so admire boyden. i so appreciate your invitation. i want to talk about -- what is now known as the tea party movement. i know there's a lot of confusion about that. i've studied on it quite intensely as my general tendency might just mention. i am an academic by profession. i'm a professional economist. and my last years in the university were devoted to what was a new emergent field out of virginia with people who i always described as the aberrant
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behavior of people in public office. it's almost instinctive for me when i see something happening out there that affects public policy to study it intently. as i see this, this is another wave of grassroots conservatism. and i think i forget the number but four or five waves that i observed intimately in my adult lifetime. and i would suggest to you that the wave is ordinary people expressing their concern for their country. and their concern and fear of what their government might do to their country. or oftentimes their hope for what government we might get that would honor the tradition and history of the country as they see it and hold it dear. and the first wave i think was bourne out of optimism. notice if you will as the waves
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go through time they get bigger and more impactive, influential. first wave i call the goldwater wave in '64. it gave birth to dick armey. who am i in politics? i'm a goldwater baby. and it was born out of the optimistic of what this person who loves the constitution, who believes that extremism in the cause of liberty is a virtue. what he might do for america to honor its great traditions. the second wave is -- and notice the waves ebb. and after goldwater many of us ebbed in disappointment. i remember being asked in 1978, do you think ronald reagan will be elected president and my response was, no, burying my burdens of my goldwater heartbreak. people like us don't get elected to office. and then reagan got elected and there was a wave that was known
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then as the reagan coalition. citizen activists emergent, being involved through their optimism and their hope. now we begin to get a better sense of identity of who are these people with the reagan wave? first of all, they are far more likely than most of us to have read the federalist papers. to actually have read the constitution. to have read the history of the thinking of our founding fathers. to think of our founding fathers as the most courageous geniuses in the history of the economy. a history of the country. to be aware of the fact that by the virtues of private enterprise, america had a higher per capita income than all the rest of the world when it, in fact, was still a colony. to be aware that jamestown colony when it was first founded as a socialist venture dang near failed with everybody dead and died in the snow and later prospered by virtue of
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individual enterprise and what adam smith called man's natural tendency to truck and barter. to agree with -- help me out, the great prime minister, english prime minister, churchill, that the american constitutional congress was the greatest act of entrepreneurial genius and courage for the history of the world and liberty and to cherish that constitution. and believe that the framers of the constitution were extremely intelligent, learned disciplined men who prayed over and weighed over absolutely every word. no word got in the constitution by accident. they meant exactly what they wrote. they knew what the meaning the word "is" and they did not suffer the indignities of deconstructionism and they took the english language with a great deal of discipline.
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to believe that it is a purpose of the court to interpret the law to see if it is, in fact, reconcile to the literally translation of the constitution. and to believe that your duty -- your oath of office to protect and serve the constitution should be taken with a religious sense of commitment. these folks are frankly pretty much normal people. they're involved in their normal lives and would rather do so, would rather believe that the american government continuously understands that liberty is a gift given to mankind by the lord god almighty and it is the duty of governments to protect it and to be confident that our government will see that duty and do it without me being involved. and only involve themselves out of a sense of distress and concern. and would rather go home. so after the reagan wave accomplished its purpose, there was a great rejoicing and everything, but it ebbed back again.
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we were incompetent and we relaxed. then the next wave that came along after reagan won his third election and george h.w. bush broke everybody's heart in the fall of 1990 and ensured that he would not have a second term because he hadn't been aware of the fact -- simple things that eighth graders can understand that politicians often sometimes can't get. that you can't say the most memorable thing you will have said in your entire life and then go back on it and expect to be re-elected. and so then there are another wave that came out and at this time -- this wave came out in its bitter disappointment over george herbert walker bush and it came out on behalf of ross perot and it was much-noticed but resulted in virtually no results, whatsoever, except i believe the only elected official that came out of it was jesse ventura, hardly a great
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contribution of the welfare of mankind. and so that wave ebbed and some of us looked at that wave which we often call the perotista. it's a good thing it happened. i don't know that there's a great country-western song "my heart just cannot take another you" and i kind of feel that way about jesse ventura. but at any rate, that was minnesota's problem. and they deserved him. but at any rate, that wave didn't do much but again -- these are normal, ordinary, every day folks that's like you and me and they're coming out of optimism or they come out of disappointment. then we had another wave fallout called the contract wave. they looked at the republican party in 1994 and they said, oh, my gracious what do we have here? republicans -- we have a political party in america that
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really wants to stand on the principles of constitutional limited government? of individual liberty, of freedom, of fiscal restraint, responsibility? and they said, well, these guys are worth fighting for. and so we had another happy wave of optimism bourne out of the contract with america. and then, of course, what happened? the republicans, doing what politicians do, which is drink backsliders wine by the gallons, switched their vision in office from a policy vision for america to a parochial vision for themselves and they broke everybody's heart. so then you had another third wave that started with and this is the wave we're looking at now. i give you the birth date to this wave as the day that george w. bush endorsed arlen specter over pat toomey six years ago.
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and it was a little birth as births tend to be. but it was expressed in this way. what in the heck is the president doing endorsing the democrat when he had toomey and he endorses specter? and there was a prediction well, specter will double-cross him as soon as he gets re-elected and that happened. and eventually -- he expected the defector went back to his roots. and they were validated. and there's a sense of validation. there's a sense among these folks, no matter what expectation that i have of disappointing behavior on behalf of those who are trusted with the great honor and privilege and duties of public office, they're going to rise to my expectations. and then george w. bush went further with the great t.a.r.p. fiasco. and this wave grew larger and more anxious. and actually while it grew in
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its disappointment in the republicans with their earmarks and george bush with his t.a.r.p., and this consistent behavior on the part of the republicans who are trying to be like the democrats, it never really, in fact, found its legs because it had a ray of hope. they believed initially that when george w. bush was defeated and democrats came back things would get better. and people would say why weren't you out on the streets marching because many of our advocates said barack obama will save us on these drought up there. and the bush republicans and when president obama got in office, immediately we got more bailout. we got meddling in the automobile industry and we got the great insurance take-over scheme and we had cap-and-trade looming out there. we had mandatory unionization
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out there and we these folks, oh, my goodness what have we got here? this guy really scares us. nancy pelosi, speaker pelosi, scares us. we have people who do not cherish america the way we do and would do it destruction with their romantic egalitarianism. they didn't read ayn rand. they didn't read hayek and they didn't read the constitution. they did not read the federalist papers. what did they read? i'm fearful they had a sociology course or even worse an english course at duke university. they don't seem to understand anything that is important and precious to us and it's scary. so look at this wave. the first thing you have to understand. these are ordinary americans who are scared that these people will wreck america. we won't have a free market system by which we will all prosper. we won't have a government that knows its limitations and protects our liberty.
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that we will have government control and the one thing history has shown us time after time, controlled economies are failed economies. and it is frightening to them. our children will be so deep in hawk they'll never get out. and we'll have destroyed the most creative, innovative healthcare system in the world and the whole world will be made worse off because invention creativity will disappear in healthcare. and so they are aroused now. but make no mistake about it, these are not cookie birds. so right now the greatest player, the big tent on the political scene in america is called the tea party movement. i see it. i define it as small government, grassroots activism inductee activists are part of it. freedomworks is part of it and freedomworks is the most active
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organization in this movement. they found us because they got concerned. they wanted to get organized. let's do something. how do you do it? they went on the internet and they found us. and one of the reasons this wave is so much bigger and more effective is this is the first internet wave. and that by the way is the reason why this wave is not likely to ebb. there are two things. this wave of grassroots activists conservatism which is normal, ordinary every day americans who are essentially the same as you and me who would rather be home with my kids' little league team or my bridge club but feel compelled to be out there in defense of liberty are not going to go away after the republicans most likely win a majority in the house of representatives and quite possibly when a majority in the senate if not this election cycle certainly in the -- and when there is a republican, a
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reformed republican, in the white house because this wave is not going to allow some republican who is soft on his commitment to our constitutional limitations of big government to get the nomination. so someone who is reaganesque in his stature. and in the past with such a success, this great wave would have ebbed back. but now they will ebb back because they had the internet by which to stay in touch with one another into what i think of is something akin to the national guard. they will be involved in their daily life, involved in their daily -- comforted by the fact that we now have good people at the helm, but they will have their activism at the ready. and when the republicans, as they will in the majority, in the white house, start consuming backsliders wine and start becoming discomfort minimizers, start looking for what's in it
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for me now, start getting parochial, short sighted and simple-minded and lacks in the performance of their duties, they're going to see this -- these guys are back. they won't just have gone away. and disarmed. and left it in their hands. so this is a big change. this is a big sea change in that. now, one final characterization of this wave that i want you to understand. these are folks who don't care about politics and don't like politics and don't like politicians. they're skeptical and cynical about all of them. but they are also realistic enough to know that 99% of all of people who hold public office in america do so as republicans or as democrats. and they also have a sense that the democrat party has pretty much abandoned all the things they've cherished as they've committed themselves to their romantic egalitarianism.
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and that the republican party has a chance of understanding. so they have a tendency to look at the republican party and say to the republican party, if you can rise to the occasion of liberty, if you can show us that you really understand and commit to our personal liberties and to the productivity and effectiveness of real free market economic activity, we want to be working with you. and they already found a difference within the republican party primary process. someone asked me why don't they deal with the democrats? 'cause they see no hope. the last -- i'm from texas. texas is a party that for the last 200 years was dominated by the conservative democrats. the last conservative democrat to win a statewide primary in texas was lord benson in 1972. you see the same thing in south carolina and you were probably
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the last conservative democrat to win south carolina. conservative democrats don't win primaries anymore, any place. even places like the carolinas or texas and tennessee. so they despair over that part of that. and if we got any hope at all, we must put it as unreliable as they are with the republicans and try to rehabilitate them, reform them and demand them and manage their behavior, punish them when they lapse and applaud them when they do well. they are in a great sense right now more than they have ever been before that great big swing vote out there. and right now they have a clear understanding who they're swinging against. they're swinging against the democrats 'cause the democrats are who are frightening them half to death. but they haven't yet found themselves comfortably able to say yes, and i'm swinging for these guys.
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'cause you're still waiting for the republicans to show that they're not the republicans that just broke our heart a few years ago. and the republican party has got to find a way to convince them that they're reliable adults. a rare thing indeed to be found holding public office. and they're cynical and doubtful and while at the same time they're hopeful because they're basically saying america is too precious a gift to the history of the world to not be saved and we must look for its salvation wherever it is possible and right now as pathetic as it is, the republicans are the only hope we've got. so don't think of themselves as energetically some kind of an allied organization in the republican party. that is not the case at all. the republican party is, of course, politically inept. they do not have a good record of creating our auxiliary
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organization. one final point, our money comes from real people in america. you want to worry about who gets what money for political activism on what party. look at acorn, 90% of their money comes from the federal government. there, go talk about that. don't talk about the 15% of the money that we get that comes from corporations that just ask for the privilege of keeping their identity private so they don't have arlen specter going after them 'cause he didn't get his goofy plan for insurance reform on asbestos. and look at the vendettas he could have taken for funding freedomworks as it destroyed his asbestos bill and you'll understand why contributors might want a little privacy because they need to protect themselves from vindictive office-holders. and they have a right to do that. the law allows that their privbe

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